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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1874
([1874])

[Washington],   pp. 326-340 PDF (7.2 MB)


Page 328

328     REPORT    OF THE     COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS. 
September 22, 1866, is on the shore of the Pacific, seventy-five miles southwest
of this place. 
It is mostly a poor sand beach, and on account of its distance from this
agency and the other 
reservations belonging to it, and of the small number of Indians belonging
to it, I recom- 
mend that it be vacated, and the Indians belonging to it removed to the Chehalis
reserva- 
tion; and if appropriations cannot be made for the support of teachers at
the Muckleshoot, 
Nisqually, and Squaxin reservations, I recommend that they also be vacated,
and the In- 
dians belonging to them removed to thc. Puyallup reservation, as recommended
by late 
Superintendent Milroy in his annual reltort for this year, to Which I respectfully
refer for 
further information in reference to the reservations under my charge. 
Enclosed I send a statistical report of the reservations of this agency,
so far as I have been 
able to ascertain with any certainty, embracing the various items mentioned
in your circular 
on that subject. 
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
H. D GIBSON, 
United 8tates Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washingtom City, D. C. 
FORT COLVILLE, WASHINGTON TERRITORY, 
September 1, 1874. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my second annual report of the condition
of 
affairs at this agency. 
It gives me pleasure to report the general good health of the Indians under
my charge, 
and their uniform good conduct during the past year. Much interest has been
manifested 
by them in regard to the final settlement of the reservation question, and
news from Wash- 
ington has been anxiously looked for; but up to this time I am not aware
that any action 
has been taken in the matter, and the condition of things here remains substantially
the 
same as when I submitted my last annual report. I deem it unnecessary to
say much here 
in reference to the Colville reservation and the proposed addition thereto,
as the subject 
was so fully referred to by Superintendent Milroy in his annual report of
October 20, 1873. 
The recommendations therein contained I cordially approve, and hope they
may be adopted 
and carried out. The present unsettled condition of affairs is very embarrassing
to both 
whites and Indians, and greatly retards the work of civilizing and Christianizing
the Indi- 
ans. The status of the Indian, and his amenability to the civil and criminal
laws of the 
State when livingvoff his reservation, not being clearly defined, much inconvenience
and 
serious trouble are liable to occur at any time at this agency. 
I have been informed that the chief-justice of this Territory holds the opinion
that an 
Indian not living on his reservation is subject to the operation of the civil
and criminal 
laws of the Territory the same as any citizen, and at the last term of the
United States dis- 
trict court held in this (Stevens) county the grand jury called the attention
of the judge to 
the fact that the Catholic fathers were in the habit of marrying Indians
without their (the 
Indians) having first procured a marriage license, and advised that they
be notified to dis- 
continue the practice, as contrary to the statute. The fathers at once called
upon the judge, 
and informed him that if such a rule was to be enforced here they would abandon
their 
mission and leave, as war would certainly follow, for which they wished in
no way to be 
responsible. Upon reflection the judge decided that no notice should be taken
of the rec- 
ommendation of the grand jury for the present. The I~dians of this agency
manifest an 
increasing desire to procure their living by agricultural pursuits, and have
made good use 
of the few implements distributed to them. They have within the last year
built them- 
selves a number of comfortable houses, and are continuing to build, and have
also greatly 
enlarged their farming operations. They sowed over 600 bushels of grain this
spring, not 
50 of which were furnished by the Government, but from various causes the
yield will not 
be as much as was anticipated. 
Under the direction of the superintendent of Indian affairs I organized an
Indian board- 
ing-school here last fall, with the understanding that there was an annual
appropriation of 
$5,000 for that purpose. My plans and purchases were made in accordance with
that under- 
standing, and school was opened on the 1st of October, in charge of the Sisters
of Charity. 
The progress made was gratifying in every respect, greatly exceeding my most
sanguine 
expectations. Parents readily availed themselves of the opportunity of sending
their chil- 
dren to school, and the children have shown great aptness in learning. But
on the 13th of 
March, 1874, I was directed by the superintendent to suspend the school at
the close of the 
first quarter of 1874, as "the Department for some cause has reduced
the allowance for sup. 
port of the Chehalis and Colville schools for the first and second quarters
of 1874 from $5,000 
to $1,000." That was a severe blow to our educational prospects, and
one which the Indi- 
ans took very much to heart. They had taken great pride in the school and
the progress 
their children were making, and they could not, or w~ere not, willing to
understand this sudden 
action of the Government, and all their grievances, real or imaginary, in
regard to the reser- 
S 


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